By Gary Curreri
When Pompano Cowboys Mitey Mites coach Ronnie McDougle began their inaugural season in the Gold Coast Pop Warner Conference, he had a vision. McDougle said the season started off with many new players, and the coaches put together a staff that helped players that needed guidance and new goal setting.
“The goal was to teach the kids to play for more than just themselves,” said McDougle, a Recreation Supervisor with the city of Pompano Beach. “We played for Collier City, our neighborhood. When the Super Bowl game arrived, the kids already had a full season of lesson, and domination was the only thing they had on their mind.”
“‘We’ve come too far to let up now,’ was the chant the entire week of practice,” said McDougle, whose team rolled to a 42-14 win over the Pompano Eagles in the Pop Warner Super Bowl game.
Ja’cari Barnes and Antonio Nuwry combined for five scores, while Terrell Loray added the final TD. “So for the biggest game of the year, the kids put on the biggest show for the fans.”
McDougle led his team to a perfect 11-0 season, which also included a win in the Miami Dolphins Championship Series (DCS). The Pompano Cowboys Mitey Mites 9U team recorded a 6-0 championship win in overtime over the Northwest Boys & Girls Club Falcons at the Miramar Asin Center. Barnes scored on a fourth down, 10-yard run for the win.
Gary Hadley scored as the Pompano Eagles 8U team also topped the Northwest Boys & Girls Club Falcons, 6-0.
The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs featured the league champions of six South Florida youth football organizations as part of the Dolphins Championship Series (DCS). Kids ages 5-15 years old from the American Youth Football League, Gold Coast Pop Warner, Greater Miami Pop Warner, Miami Xtreme, National Youth Football League and Youth Academic Sports League participated in the competition.
“The Dolphins Champion game was just one for the old bragging rights book,” McDougle said. “Anytime a Broward team plays against a Dade team is always guaranteed to be a good one.
“Northwest Boys Club is a very well-respected program,” he continued. “Both teams were missing players and played in the worst weather condition of that day. Our coaches watched and made great adjustments as the game went on and our kids, like they did all year, responded well to the match-up that we put them in to get the win in overtime.”
“It’s an honor for the Miami Dolphins to celebrate youth football in South Florida by hosting the Dolphins Championship Series,” said Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth Programs Twan Russell. “The DCS games provide another opportunity for student-athletes to compete and showcase their skills after another remarkable season of play.”
Two Pompano Chiefs’ squads also went far in the Pop Warner postseason playoffs as the JV team lost in the regionals to the Riviera Beach Chargers, 26-20, in double overtime, and the Varsity made it all the way to Nationals where they fell, 33-8, to the Harvey Colts (Chicago, IL.)
Jerold Smith, president of Football Operations for the City of Pompano, said he was proud of what his teams were able to accomplish this season. The Pompano squads broke away from the Miami Chapter of Pop Warner and joined with other teams from Broward County to form their own Pop Warner Chapter called Gold Coast Pop Warner.
The Pompano Eagles had two teams – 75-lb. and 85-lb. teams – that won the Superbowl in their division; Pompano Cowboys (100-lb. championship); Pompano Chiefs (155-lb. and 180-lb.) Superbowl championships.
“We had five teams from Pompano Beach win the Gold Coast Pop Warner Superbowl this year,” Smith said. “That was a great feat to do in our first year in Gold Coast as a founding member.
“The season went off without any problems and in our first year we had a team make it to the National Championship in Disney World, Wide World of Sports,” Smith added. “Our kids got to play two games on ESPN on National TV. It was a great experience for our kids and coaches as well.”